The deaths of dozens of children involved in the demonstrations against the authorities in Iran have sparked anger in the West Asian nation. On Friday, mourners gathered at a funeral of a 9-year-old Iranian boy shot during one of the protests chanted for the death of Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The protests in Iran are being led by young people and many school children and college-goers have attended the protests. Several teenagers have been shot dead and many of these young protesters faced police brutality during the protests which are going on for more than a month.
The protests began after a woman, Mahsa Amini, died due to the heavy handed approach taken by Iran’s strict morality police who punish women for not dressing in accordance with Islamic laws.
Human-rights groups in Iran said that out of 381 protesters, 57 were minors. The deaths of the minor have added to fire to the flames as the authorities find it hard to suppress the protests.
On Friday, thousands attended the funeral of nine-year-old Kian Pirfalak who died this Wednesday during a protest in the southwestern Iranian city of Izeh.
Kian was not participating in the protest but was inside the car with his father when they encountered a large crowd and a heavy police force deployed to contain them. The mother said the police personnel fired bullets towards the car injuring her husband and killing her son.
Mourners chanted “Death to Khamenei” during the funeral. The Iranian Supreme Leader is unpopular in Khuzestan Province which is dominated by Sunni Arabs who say they face discrimination from Shia Persian majority. There were also protests against Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The government said seven people died in Izeh and attributed Kian’s death to a terrorist attack. They claim two gunmen on motorbikes attacked security forces with Kalashnikov rifles, according to the report by the Wall Street Journal.
Kian’s mother denies this and holds the police responsible for killing her son. However, the 9-year-old’s death will lead to protests in Izeh and other parts of Iran.
The use of force in Iran’s remote provinces has taken a toll on the ethnic minorities that live there and has also impacted minors. In eastern Iran’s Zahedan, at least 10 minors were killed on September 30 when security personnel fired indiscriminately at a crowd.
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